- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 31, 2007

RICHMOND — Since his death two weeks ago, more than 300 items related to the Rev. Jerry Falwell have been put up for sale on EBay, including an autographed bobblehead doll of the evangelist dressed in a suit and holding a Bible.

It sold for $145.

An autographed 1978 Bible that the seller said was given to contributors to Mr. Falwell’s Liberty University in its early stage of construction went for about $90.

The online auctions, which include other signed items, such as books and photos, follows the trend of selling memorabilia of people and events in the worldwide spotlight.

“We’ve witnessed this more with pop-culture celebrities — movie stars, musicians, that sort of thing — but one can make the case that he was a pop-culture celebrity, too,” said Steve Jones, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mr. Falwell, who used the power of television to develop the Moral Majority and turn the Christian right into a mighty force in American politics, died May 15 at 73 on the campus of the Lynchburg, Va., school he founded in 1971.

“I feel like he was very strong with the American culture; in fact, he was one of the best,” said David Campbell, curator of the Jerry Falwell Museum. “That tells you something [about] how great a guy he was and how people want to buy into something he would have for memorabilia.”

Mr. Campbell said the likeness of the bobblehead dolls and figure itself was a “great gesture.”

“It was very good. Someone did a great job,” he said.

The highest-priced items included a commemorative booklet with a Falwell biography from 1976 whose $100 price tag was donated to his school. A 1976 family photo Christmas card and a set of Moral Majority tokens from 1983 each sold for about $20, and a videotape celebrating the 60th birthday of Mr. Falwell and his wife, Macel, sold for $24.

Those items still up for auction include a spoof T-shirt featuring “Jerry Falwell and the Apostles” from the “World Apocalypse Tour,” featuring other acts like “Pat Robertson and the Election Committee,” that has an asking price of $120.

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